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Green Party deputy wins appeal

Green Party deputy wins appeal

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“They haven’t changed their policy and blood has been running. If you read the entire speech that I did, I specifically said that crime will increase and it has since that time.”{{more}}

So stated Green Party member Ordan Graham at a press conference called by his legal representatives to announce that an appeal brought by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) against the original ruling by former Chief Magistrate Simone Churaman had been overturned.

On August 27th 2006, Graham, speaking at a public meeting at Buccament Bay, made statements which were considered seditious or treasonous by the DPP:

“… Because Ralph Gonsalves feels he is the only man with savvy in this country. We have to reverse that trend. If he does not reverse that trend in this country, you know what will happen here? You know what will happen? Blood will run on the streets of the country. And you don’t take that for a joke… Dr. Ralph Gonsalves I know you would get this tape, Ordan Graham is asking you, begging you to rethink your draconian policies in this country otherwise blood would run in this country, blood would run in this country…”

Graham was arrested days after making those statements, but was acquitted by Chief Magistrate Simone Churaman.

Her decision was upheld last week, by Appeal Judges Denys Barrow, Ola Mae Edwards and Errol Thomas.

The Appeal Judges said that they could not say that Chief Magistrate Churaman was wrong, and that they will “only interfere, especially on an appeal by the prosecution, if the decision was based on an error of principle or was one that no reasonable judge could have reached.”

Graham said that the ruling by the Appeal Court not only secures a victory for him, but for the preservation of democracy in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“I hope that this victory serves as a lesson to the powers that be. I don’t know if they (the Government) are going to carry this any further, but we are willing to go all the way.

Counsel for Graham, Emery Robertson, said that the decision is expected to make legal history,

and would be referred to in court in years to come after all parties are gone.

He also said the costs of the trial are expected to be covered by the government, and that his client will be seeking financial compensation for, among other things, pain and suffering.

“Mr. Graham has been treated as a common criminal. He has been arrested, charged, prosecuted, and we see with the absence of probable cause that the prosecution as being malicious.”

“Mr. Graham was subjected to reporting to the Calliaqua Police Station weekly on Wednesdays, between six and 9 p.m., so there is a transportation cost which was incurred. And perhaps one of the most ludicrous things is that one of the officers he had to report to was a policeman who was subsequently charged with double murder.”

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